After sitting out the majority of this season due to injury, Zion Williamson is finally playing more minutes and is showing why he was selected as the number one pick in 2019. In 11 games so far this season, Zion is averaging 22.4 points per game to go along with seven rebounds in 27 minutes of action. Zion is also extremely efficient, shooting an astonishing 58 percent from the field and is one of the league’s leaders in that segment.
Standing at 6’7″ and 290 pounds, with a 40-inch vertical leap, Zion is a freak of nature, and when he came to the NBA, there were a lot of similarities drawn between him and some former players. The most notable one was that Zion’s physical appearance and style of play is almost identical to the one of a young Charles Barkley. When Barkley came into the NBA, he was around 300 pounds, but that didn’t stop him from being one of the fastest and explosive players on the court. In a recent guest appearance on ESPN’s show Pardon the Interruption, Charles Barkley talks about the similarities between him and Zion.
“Number one, he seems like a great kid that is the first thing I get when I see him interviewed and everything. I think he is more explosive than I am. It’s fun to watch him play. He is not by a lot, but he is more explosive. He’s got the best second jump I’ve seen in a long time. He gets up so quickly. I’m really looking forward to his development because he seems like a great kid also.”
It will be interesting to see if Zion remains healthy because, so far, he showed he could play with the big boys in the NBA. His combination of size, strength, and speed is probably unmatched in the league, and he is using it to his advantage the same way Barkley did when he came to the NBA in the mid-’80s.